BEREA, Ohio – A talented group of returners will lead the Baldwin Wallace University women's swimming and diving team to the top of the Ohio Athletic Conference in 2018-19.
Eighth-year head coach Laura Wolff-Demaline returns 13 letterwinners and seven All-OAC performers from last year's team that went 8-5 overall with a 1-3 conference record, finishing third at the OAC Championships.
"I am excited about the talent and depth our freshman class have added to our team this year," Wolff-Demaline said. "We returned a strong core from last year, including a few individual school record holders, which is a great position to be in. We have made a few key changes to our training and meet schedule that I am eager to see play out, which we feel will positively benefit all of our athletes. This is an incredible group of individuals that work hard and are committed to the success of our program. There are great things happening at the Baldwin Wallace Pool – and I look forward to how our team will continue to grow this season!"
Returning All-OAC performers span from sophomores all the way up to senior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC stroker Sarah Krupp (Williamsville, N.Y./South). Krupp earned her All-OAC honor as a freshman in the 400-yard individual medley and still holds the school record in that event, dating back to 2016.
The junior class features All-OAC freestyler Olivia Jacob (Canton/McKinley), All-OAC stroker Erika Nockengost (Cuyahoga Falls), All-OAC freestyler Allie Thorson (Amherst/Marion Steele) and All-OAC and Academic All-OAC diver/stroker Ellie Clymer (Independence). Jacob has earned four separate All-OAC honors in her first two seasons while Nockengost garnered three All-OAC honors last season, including her first individual title in the 100-yard butterfly. Thorson's All-OAC accolade came with a third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle as a freshman and Clymer was an All-OAC diver last year by finishing second in the 1-meter event.
Two sophomores had standout freshmen campaigns as stroker Marissa Kural (LaGrange, Ill./Lyons Township) and diver Lauren Franz (Canton/GlenOak) both earned All-OAC honors in their first collegiate season. Kural was the runner-up in the 100-yard butterfly and also earned an All-OAC honor as a member of the second place 800-yard freestyle relay team. Meanwhile, Franz placed third in the 3-meter dive to garner her first career All-OAC honor.
Between those All-OAC athletes, four school records were set in 2018: 1000-yard freestyle, 1650-yard freestyle, 400-yard freestyle relay and 800-yard freestyle relay. Along with Krupp's 400 IM record that was set in 2016, senior freestyler Claire Onchuck (Darrien, Ill./Hinsdale South) is the lone returning member of the 2016 school record 200-yard freestyle relay team.
Rounding out the returners are senior freestyler Star Lodwick (Mansfield/Madison Comprehensive), junior freestyler Jenna Ball (Salamanca, N.Y.), junior Academic All-OAC stroker Shari Gordnier (Centerville/Dayton Regional Stem), junior stroker Alyssa Mahle (Aurora), sophomore diver Brianna Lapaglia (Rockland, Mass.) and sophomore stroker Lauren Martello (Huron/Sandusky). Each looks to improve on her career-best times this season.
Six new faces join the team this winter in diver Kaylee Beyer (Columbus/Centennial), freestyler Emily Bumbulis (Strongsville), freestyler Madysen Colegrove (Brunswick), freestyler Kayla McClintock (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township), freestyler Emily Newcamp (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) and freestyler Madeleine Pierce (Perry), all looking to make a splash in their inaugural collegiate season.
BW opens up the 2018-19 campaign on Friday, Sept. 28, when the Yellow Jackets compete in the Viking Relay Challenge, hosted by NCAA Division I institution Cleveland State University at the Busbey Natatorium. BW will host Manchester (Ind.) University for the first home meet on Saturday, Nov. 3, inside the BW Natatorium.